The Day Of The Bird

Boyleing Points
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Happy Thanksgiving. If you play word association, whaddya come up with? Stuffing?  Cranberry, sweet potatoes? Turkey, bird, football? Once you rattle off the basics you might come up with King Kong, which used to be shown on TV every Thanksgiving — and probably still is but with 500 channels it’s hard to find the one showing King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young — back to back. 

I have no idea why gorilla movies became a tradition. March of the Wooden Soldiers, the Laurel and Hardy classic, was a tradition, too. If you called it Babes In Toyland, you were lame.

I think The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits were TV traditions for a while. Or were they on Christmas?

The night before Thanksgiving, the Wizard of Oz was the thing to see — if you weren’t old enough to go out drinking. That’s still the biggest night of the year for some bars, but I digress….

(Well, before I finish digressing, I might as well mention how my older brother would come home from the bars on Thanksgiving night and pull his chair up and eat leftovers straight out of the fridge).

The Wizard of Oz, hard to believe, was only shown on TV that one time during the year.  And it was a big deal when the black and white film suddenly turned color when Dorothy lands in Oz. Of course, we had a black and white TV so we imagined color and said it did look a little different. I’ve moved up and now have a color TV. Once you have kids, you wind up watching the movie hundreds of times. And thank God, the movie is great and more than holds up over time.

No one alive can hear or say, lions, tigers and bears without adding “Oh my.”

So on this holiday, you remember food, football, TV and movies. But you also might remember company. Sometimes a person would be invited because they couldn’t get home or didn’t have family in the area. That would be fine and the whole idea to invite such a person was nice but it’d inject a little weird vibe into the whole day. A stranger of sorts would mute everyone’s personality a bit. (See older brother above). Their presence would generally mean everyone would be on their best behavior. 

Of course, other company was extended family. The old uncle who smells like scotch, talcum powder and Vitalis. The old aunt was not any better. We swore one aunt smelled like moth balls but were told that it was Calgon bath oil beads. Well, I still don’t know what oil beads are but they smell like yak.

People often say they’re turning into their parents — mostly because they have to say stuff to their kids that was said to them.  But that’s better than turning into the aunt or uncle that kids will be talking about decades later.

But crazy thing is, I’m thankful for the aunts and uncles — because they give you stories and memories you’d never wish away. Yep, they make it on the list of things to be thankful for.  I’m happy to say I’ve got a long list. And you’re on it, too. Happy Thanksgiving!

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